Fading Memory, Staying Home

By Treacy Duerfeldt

How many times do employees have to wait days (not hours) before a knowledgeable manager from their company can advise them on their worker’s compensation claim? Sometimes this can be a whole week.
While at home on doctor’s orders, do they watch TV? What kind of attorneys are putting commercials on TV at this time?
Some of the thoughts an injured employee might have:
–I wonder how long I have to wait before I get a call from the insurer?
–Why hasn’t my manager called to ask how I am?
–Will I get to keep my job after I come back? Will I be welcome?
–How is my rate of pay going to be reported? How will that affect by work comp benefits?
–This is embarrassing, I’d rather stay home.
–Do I need a lawyer to protect my work comp benefits?
The injured employee most certainly will hire an attorney if neglected. If the employer or their insurer knowingly choose to neglect the injured work, an attorney might be appropriate. Fortunately, a reporting culture is possible to assure proper care is taken and the right answers are given upfront.
How many employers have a written claims reporting requirement? If so, how long does an employee have to report their own or other employee’s injuries? Who to? What are the penalties for delay? What are the motivations for quick reporting?
Simple. The employees need to agree that quick reporting equals improved services and better delivery of benefits. Employees need to understand up front how the company will offer light duty as permitted by their doctor and how all injured employees will remain a part of the team and welcomed back.
By addressing the fears and questions of employees before they are injured and affirming the answers at the time of an injury – everybody wins. The only gap remaining might be in how accurate and timely reporting of injuries is assured (see www.claimscaptain.com) and managed by the employer. If the employee’s concerns are addressed first, quick reporting is very effective in reducing costs and delivering more for all’s benefit. 
Good agents look at assisting policyholders in implementing reporting requirements, promoting the benefits of quick reporting to their employees and executing technologies/tools that provide needed accuracy and transparency. Agents who wait to provide this value need to know they are in competition with their peers who consult beyond policy placement every day.
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